Heart’s Compass / Poem by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

Heart’s Compass

You pass through me
like windows on a train–
freeze-framed in Winter
my shattered Spring
I look for you
in all the compartments
of my heart
groping blindly
at flashes of reflection

(Why did you pull out? I ask
At which stop did you finally exit?)

knowing full well
I have swallowed you
the night before
swallowed you
as I have the sun the moon
and all the dead stars–
light years of your grief
passing through me now

I, the cavity of Paris
compass without a needle–
my arteries stretching like roadmaps
across the universe of my heart

How I let you slip through me
I will never know
I sent you
to your own dark eclipse
your delirium of narcotic bliss
engraved on the head of a needle

What is it we hold in our hands
that slips through our fingers–
this human landscape of blood and tears
How do we hold onto heart’s needle
this compass of compassion
this shining star
this point of reference–
hold onto light lost in a City of Light
hold onto that one magnet that pulls us
to a place where we belong

One day
we may lose true North
lose our way
lose this moment
lose whole continents
of ourselves
like refugees
with no where to turn
like I lost you
you who once took refuge
deep inside of me

I still hold South
between my thighs
still wait for you to move me
like the earth
like this engine pumping blood
this train pumping iron
like Night and hydrangeas
exploding into the ecstasy
of novas and constellations
tunneling the black hole of me
the deep blossoming throat of me–
you, my heart’s needle-
a singing meteor
that passes through me as light
that hums in me like Spring–
the one place I cannot get to

I am the cavity of Paris
that lovers once poured into–
my heart a weeping sieve
Milky Ways oozing from
the swirling globes of my eyes and breasts–
the trickling cum of humanity
peeling Time from my lips like a mask

At night alone in my bed
I marry the sacred dark of you
I marry the souls of all your dead planets
all the sweet amnesias of heaven
that live inside my head
I curse myself and heavy-lidded Night
that slumbers through the day
I, dragging the moon
like my flesh behind me
while Dark goes on and on
like the bottomless sky
with no ending or beginning

Dark knows we are afraid of it
wants only to be loved
I swallow it
as I do my tears
I kiss it
like I drink in air
I stuff the shame of guilt
back into my horizon
praying that light will find me

I am the cavity of Paris
that lovers once poured into–
my heart a weeping sieve
Deep inside myself
inside the shadows I cannot contain-
statues and monuments to the dead–
a whole city of shimmering possibility
rises as smoke above a skyline of ancient syllables
quivering on the tip of my tongue

The pallbearer of my own dead poems
bereft of words, divine direction or
a satin box to lay my aching compass
I drift
alone in the dark
alone with you and the breath of Winter
erased by a night that forgives.


Antonia Alexandra Klimenko


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